Four hundred and ninety six kilometers after leaving KL, we pulled into Harini and Vasu’s condominium in Singapore this afternoon. Harini is Partha’s other niece, sister of the niece Jayshree in KL, and Vasu is her husband. This was thus a niece-to-niece ride.
The border crossing was trivial, at least for us in the motor-cycle lane. We went through in about fifteen minutes total, from the Malaysian side to the Singapore side. This included the time needed to fill out a form. Here is a picture of the immigration posts on the Malaysian side:
And here is Partha, on the causeway between Malaysia and Singapore (technically, he is still in Malaysia, another ten meters or so, and he will be in Singapore):
In Singapore, we took Upper Thompson Road down to Vasu and Harini’s place, which is off Orchard Road. I had never been on Upper Thompson Road before, and was surprised to find that there was what appeared like dense jungle on both sides and an absence of high-rises. It is pleasing to know that there are more places in Singapore other than the west end which are like this.
A delicious lunch was waiting for us at Harini’s place, as were two high-energy and fun boys. Tejas and Rohan, eight and five and a half. Well traveled kids, they have just moved to Singapore from Angola. They will eventually find their way to high-school in the US, where their dad’s company headquarters are. Here they are:
Would I do this again? Yes, in a heartbeat. I bought my Bike Friday with exactly this in mind, and I don’t see why I should stop. I would mostly do shorter trips, like the one we just completed.
I may not get to be like those whose blogs I devour regularly, like the Korean couple who we met two days ago, the people who travel for months or even years on end, covering thousands of kilometers at a time. There is a phase in life for that, and I am not in that phase. But who knows, that phase of traveling for months on end may yet come. Generally, you do that sort of thing when you are much younger, in your twenties, when you don’t have commitments. (But, I could see myself deciding to do that sort of travel in my eighties, if I am still alive then. 🙂 )
Here are somethings I learned about long distance bicycle touring:
1) Beer is the long distance cyclists’ best reward.
2) It really helps to have a buddy to travel with.
3) And most importantly, attitude matters.
So all in all, bicycling mirrors life.
A shout-out to various friends and family members who wrote/commented/emailed me about following my blogging: THANKS. You were the reason I was blogging in the first place, and it helped immensely to hear from you that you were following. (In fact, the situation soon became circular: if you were following my blog, you became my friend. 🙂 ) The fact that you were following is what made me sit up each night, up to 1 AM often, after having ridden eighty plus kilometers, filing my reports. But I will probably slow down with my blogging now, given that this particular ride is over. I go back to Chennai tomorrow, where Prabha will join me, and we will be visiting friends and family (by planes, trains, and automobiles, but mostly likely not by bicycle, especially given that Prabha cannot ride one). I may do some riding, and if I do, I will probably blog, but nothing is clear.